pull up a chair, pour yourself some coffee (or tea!), and let's chat about life, where I've been, what I've been doing, and what my plans are! are you ready?! TONS of energy.
what have i been up to?
It's no secret that I've been MIA for the last oh I don't know FOUR MONTHS. JEEZE LOUISE. and I know I tried to explain it to you guys here. I told you about how I'd been feeling a lack of creativity and desire to blog as much as I had been over the last few years and how I missed it but I also felt pressured by it. I told you about how I wanted this to be more free-flowing but that I'd still be sharing 52 recipes this year. (UM HI I NEED TO GET MY BUTT IN GEAR. I told you that my priorities were shifting and I was more focused on myself and my health and my relationship and, oh yeah, trying to plan a wedding that is what I want while still pleasing EVERYONE. soooo I've been a little… distracted.
but behind the scenes I was doing a little blog work. I gave the blog a minor facelift. I posted (I think) one recipe? ugh. I also shared some of my favorite things anddddd a few date nights and meal plan Mondays. I worked on a new email service (so puhleaseeee bear with me if you run into technical difficulties on that front). I'm so glad that sunday sprinkles are gone. I was getting bored of them. But spring is here and I'm ready for something new…. and I think I need a schedule again. I tried the “free-flowing” thing and it just doesn't work for me. it's an excuse not to post and honestly you guys have been TOO good to me for that.
but before we dive into what will be happening going forward, lets chat about why haven't I been posting as much… I'm hoping it'll explain some things. well…. I've been really busy. for the first time in my life I went through a major lifestyle overhaul, and REALLY committed to it. when I wrote out my 2017 priorities and goals, it became clear that my top priority was my health.
I think having a major health/lifestyle shift is really freaking daunting and, honestly, to fully explain all the changes I've made I probably will need a different post all together. But i'll brieeeefly explain.
- Workouts – I focused on being more active (I'm on a 116 day move streak in my apple watch!), specifically more well-rounded in my workouts (i.e. I'm not JUST running) and getting it done. it's dumb, but closing that red apple watch ring (for non-apple watch users that really just my “active calorie burn” goal) was super motivating. I set a lofty goal at the beginning of the year to hit the move goal every day for the year (and so far I've done that!) and I haven't looked back. if that means I walk home from work to get my workout in I do it. when I was sick I did yoga. I make sure I do SOMETHING every. single. day.
- Food – I've revised my look on food, which is probably why I haven't been here gushing about food every week, because I'm eating a lot simpler. I've gotten used to 80/20 which never used to work for me. I embrace a slice or two of pizza on Fridays and on weekdays I eat a ton of vegetables/baked chicken/salads. my current eating style is a sort of fusion of whole30, the tone it up nutrition plan, and the 21 day fix.
- Alcohol – I've seriously cut back on drinking. remember when I gave up soda 2 years ago and it stuck? well this year I gave up beer/cider and it's realllllly helping. when I don't drink I just I feel clearer and more productive. I did a dry January (probably a majority of the reason I lost 10 pounds that first month). Nowww i've reached a happy medium for me. I still have cocktails and embrace brunch and date nights and girls night – but I try to limit my drinking to twice a week as the rule of thumb. also as a hard rule I don't drink at all on the nights before a race (which seems to be like every weekend this year).
so those are the major lifestyle changes I've implemented and they're working for me. I love the balance of it. I love the simplicity. BUT from a recipe standpoint it sort of feels boring to come here and chat with you guys about… baked chicken. hahaha. but we're going to try it out and see how it goes – healthy recipes are coming your way I promise. if you absolutely hate it, let me know! if you guys are interested in the changes I've made I'm MORE than happy to write up posts about each one and give you more detail on how/why I made those changes.
which brings me to the other aspect of this shift… I'm definitely more open about my story on instagram, facebook, and in the new Ash Tones Up facebook like page I made (<- ummmm hi I'd love it if you went and liked it). in February I signed up as a beachbody coach, really unsure of where it would take me (if I was doing it just for the discount on shakeology or if I wanted to actually run challenge groups). turns out I really love being open and honest about where I'm at, what I'm doing, and the results I'm seeing… and I love the supportive challenge groups that I get to run on facebook. also being a coach has given me accountability I didn't know I wanted/needed and it really helps me see when I'm being too harsh with myself. (side note: this is NOT going to turn into a blog revolving around beachbody/shakeology – but honestly its a big part of my life right now, so you probably will see it popping up in my posts and if you wanna chat about it I want to chat with ya!)
so where does all this leave us?
well, like I said: I need structure and deadlines, but deadlines I want to meet. So here's what I'm thinking, and i'll revise as necessary (and with feedback from you!): meal plan mondays (if I used a meal plan), a minimum of 1 recipe a week always on a Tuesday (with extras filling in other days without content), workout wrap-up on wednesdays, product reviews/sponsored content posts on thursdays (if I have any going on), fridays will be for any blog related content (anndddd i'll bring back traffic and income reports on the first friday of the month), and finallyyyyy on the first sunday of the month i'll be chatting with you guys about my monthly obsessions. SO BASICALLY. we're going full force back into a schedule with all the things.
If you're thinking to yourself “hey I'm signed up to get emails from this chick and now I'm gonna be spammed” DONT WORRY, I'm also going to be doing a weekly newsletter, so if you don't want to get an update every day just switch your subscription to that (there should be an option to update your subscriptions preferences at the bottom of your email!)
(annnnd for those of you who aren't subscribed at all… i'll just drop this easy form righhhht here … because i have no shame)